Walled City Festival begins

One of the biggest names in the world of classical music performs in Derry tonight as New Zealander Jonathon Lemalu opens this year’s Walled City Music Festival.

The festival, which runs over 10 days, has an exceptionally strong programme this summer, with concerts from world-renowned performers such as Sir James and Lady Leanne Galway, the Kronos Quartet and the Gould Piano Trio.

It all starts with the bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu, who sings in the Guildhall this evening at 9pm, with Michael Hampton on piano.

It’s a varied programme, including the ‘Old American Songbook’ from US composer Aaron Copland, and selections from Schubert, Finzi and Bolcom.

Tomorrow night will welcome the appearance of perhaps the world’s best-known quartet, the Kronos Quartet, in the intimate setting of the Great Hall at Magee in Derry.

Kronos made world headlines this year as recipients of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded for outstanding achievement and excellence in music and the Polar Music Prize, an international music prize recognizing exceptional achievement. No other musician or ensemble has ever won both prizes.

What makes their Derry appearance even more special is that they’re playing the latest work by the celebrated US composer Steve Reich, WTC 9/11.

It’s a work which again challenges conventional boundaries for string quartets, including recordings of the voices of some of those involved in the events surrounding the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Completing the line-up for the first weekend of the Walled City Festival are the Gould Piano Trio, whose performances have been described in ‘The Strad’ as “trio playing at its best”.

For more information email: info@walledcitymusicfestival.com.

For Walled City Festival bookings contact the Millennium Forum on: 71. 264455 or book online at: www.millenniumfo